Kari Plog | KNKX

Kari Plog

Digital Content Manager

Kari Plog is an eager newcomer to public radio and a longtime admirer. Her background as a print journalist started at The News Tribune in Tacoma, where she covered government and communities across Pierce County.

Her work included an award-winning investigation into a deadly boat launch in Tacoma. Before joining KNKX in November 2018, Kari worked for her alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, where she served as senior editor of the institution’s magazine, producing long-form storytelling from Parkland to Norway.

Kari also worked for several years as a college newspaper adviser at the University of Puget Sound, and continues to serve as a passionate advocate for aspiring journalists and student media. She’s a lover of orca whales, wine and Prince. She lives in Tacoma with her husband and their lovable 75-pound lapdog, Bernie.

Ways to Connect

An inflatable orca is displayed during a rally to call attention to environmental issues on Monday, Jan. 14. The environment is one of many high-priority issues in the 2019 legislative session, which is just about halfway over.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

There is a lot of activity in the Legislature right now, as state lawmakers work against a Wednesday deadline to move bills out of their chamber of origin. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about what’s going on and what’s to come.

breaking news graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

A year and a half ago, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office issued a death determination that eventually resulted in a dropped murder charge. Now, the county prosecutor is re-evaluating the case.

A younger Mary Anne Moorman.
Courtesy of Moorman

Mary Anne Moorman has been a management consultant, an activist, a storyteller – even a radio host. She’s also been keeping a secret since she was a little girl.

“Where are you?” a younger Moorman asked. “Everywhere,” the voice replied.

Washington House representatives listen to testimony, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, before they unanimously voted to approve a code of conduct for the Legislature in Olympia, Wash.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

State lawmakers are approaching the halfway point of their 105-day session, and they’re closing in on the deadline to pass non-budget-related bills out of their house of origin. Democrats control both chambers this year, and they’re flexing their majority muscles. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins updated Morning Edition producer Ariel Van Cleave on the latest progress.

Medical examiner van
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

The state body that oversees doctors has opened an investigation into the Pierce County medical examiner, escalating turmoil in an office that’s been under scrutiny since a whistleblower complaint surfaced in January.

In this Sept. 7, 2012, file photo, gillnetters repair a net near the mouth of the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon. Washington state is collecting feedback from the public as it considers fishing restrictions amid dwindling salmon populations.
Don Ryan / The Associated Press (file)

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has launched two months of public meetings as regulators decide how much salmon can be harvested from state waters. The process includes the first official statewide forecasts detailing how many salmon are expected to return in 2019.

news that informs graphic
Adrian Florez / KNKX

More than a decade has passed since Latosha Evans went to Seattle Children’s Hospital for a heart transplant. And it’s been just over five years since a stroke during a follow-up procedure left her with life-altering disabilities.

Now, a King County jury says Children’s University Medical Group must pay nearly $14 million in damages to cover a lifetime of care that lies ahead for the 22-year-old from West Seattle.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Seattle at an event held by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. Inslee is expected to announce his bid for president as soon as this week.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Gov. Jay Inslee is sounding more and more like a presidential candidate. An official announcement is expected in the coming days, but Inslee has already been making his case to the national media. KNKX Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick talked with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the prospect of Inslee running for president.

McNeil Island
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Over the past several weeks, the podcast series Forgotten Prison has taught listeners a lot about the Alcatraz of Washington state. Despite the rich history of the now-abandoned prison on McNeil Island, the state left a lot behind when it closed the institution in 2011. In the last episode, hosts Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel explore what we lose when we forget about prisons. They talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about the conclusion of the series.

A man stands on a pier with Alcatraz Island at rear in San Francisco, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Despite being a model for Alcatraz, McNeil Island's prison hasn't garnered as much publicity in pop culture.
Jeff Chiu / The Associated Press

Browse the selection of prison movies on streaming services, and the contrast is clear.

Many people, near and far, know about the Rock. But few — even residents across the water — know about McNeil.

Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

A Pierce County employee who was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday has filed a retaliation complaint against county officials, according to a letter obtained by KNKX Public Radio.

Alan and Andy Dappen traveled the Inside Passage twice: in 1974 and again in 2017, when they were nearing retirement. Both times, they traveled in their handmade canoes.
Courtesy of Nathan Dappen

Growing up, filmmaker Nathan Dappen heard the story of his dad’s canoe trip to Alaska so many times that it came to seem almost like a legend.

The story, as Nathan remembers it, goes like this.

abandoned prison
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

McNeil Island’s history mirrors American history that unfolded outside the prison walls. And one of its darker chapters collides with the Korean War and what was then a mysterious new disease. 

Soldiers returned to the states infected with hepatitis, baffling the doctors tasked with treating them. So, to learn more, inmates were approached to volunteer for medical testing.

prison walls
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

McNeil Island prison ran for more than a century in South Puget Sound. A lot of earth-shaking events happened in the outside world during that time, and those events had ripple effects that were felt in the prison itself.

In the fifth episode of our podcast Forgotten Prison, hosts Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel look at the role McNeil played in world events. Wissel talks about the latest episode of the series with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

A former dock facility is shown in Queens, N.Y., late last year. Amazon announced Thursday that it no longer plans to build a new headquarters in Long Island City.
Bebeto Matthews / The Associated Press

Amazon abruptly changed course on Thursday, axing its planned headquarters project in New York in the face of ongoing backlash. The change comes after politicians and others objected to nearly $3 billion in tax incentives promised by the Seattle-based technology company. The expansion was expected to bring 25,000 jobs to the city. 

Courtesy of SIFF

Eddie Muller — The Czar of Noir, as described by the Seattle International Film Festival — is taking a break from hosting Turner Classic Movies’ "Noir Alley" to introduce a lineup of films for SIFF’s Noir City festival beginning this weekend. Muller sat down for an interview with KNKX production manager (and resident movie buff) Nick Morrison.

In this photo taken Tuesday, June 13, 2017, the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant, right, stands adjacent to a dirt-covered rail tunnel, left, containing radioactive waste, amidst desert plants on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash.
Nicholas K. Geranios / The Associated Press

The federal government is suing Lockheed Martin Corp. for fraud in the latest controversy surrounding the heavily polluted Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The U.S. Justice Department is accusing the defense contractor of using false records and making false statements to bill the Energy Department for tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized profits and fees.

The people who worked at the now-abandoned prison on McNeil raised families in houses around the island.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

When it closed in 2011, McNeil Island’s prison was the last of its kind in the country — an institution accessible only by air or water. Being on an island made McNeil unique. In the fourth episode of our six-part podcast series Forgotten Prison, hosts Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel explore island life. Alicea talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about what they learned.

McNeil Island resident Henry G. Minkema is pictured with a pet deer in this undated photo.
Courtesy of Washington State Archives

Put simply, Charles Scanlon is an animal guy.

Like many families, the Scanlons had a dog — a German shepherd — that roamed freely during their years living on McNeil Island, where Charles worked as a federal prison guard.

But, as his son Terry can attest, growing up on McNeil in the 1970s meant life was different — and so were the pets.

Seattle streets are still covered in snow, but KNKX weather expert says we might be near the end of this winter storm.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

We can almost see the light at the end of this snowy tunnel, according to the latest blog post from KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

After the Puget Sound region experiences a few more inches of snow throughout Monday, it will see a transition around dinnertime to rain at elevations below 500 feet, roughly. (Last update: 2:50 p.m. Thursday)

Abandoned yard at the site of McNeil Island's former prison, which closed in 2011.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

There are thousands of stories about McNeil Island. And chances are, you haven’t heard any of them. This week on Sound Effect, host Gabriel Spitzer talks through some of them with KNKX reporters Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel, who host KNKX Public Radio’s podcast Forgotten Prison.

A driver navigates icy roads in Seattle on Sunday, Feb. 10, just as another round of snow starts.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Forecasts show a major winter storm heading for the Puget Sound, just days after a less severe one disrupted traffic, schools and other day-to-day activities Monday. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass predicts the latest system will be “absolutely classic,” with likely extraordinary snowfall. (This story was last updated at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.)

The execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown with the witness gallery behind glass in Walla Walla, Washington. The state Legislature is exploring repealing the death penalty, after the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press (file)

State lawmakers are considering a measure that would repeal Washington’s death penalty. The Senate Law and Justice Committee will discuss Senate Bill 5339 today in Olympia. The proposal follows a state Supreme Court decision that ruled the policy as unconstitutional, arbitrary and racially biased. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talked about this repeal effort with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Abandoned cells at the McNeil Island prison site.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The now-abandoned prison at McNeil Island ran for 136 years. That means the history of the place can tell us a lot about how prisons have changed over time.

In Episode 3 of Forgotten Prison, hosts Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel introduce us to former McNeil inmates and guards, and take listeners through the abandoned structures on the island. They talked about what they found with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Abandoned cells at McNeil Island's prison site.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

McNeil Island opened around the time the state shuttered Seatco Prison, the infamous institution that eventually became known as Hell on Earth. And while McNeil was a step up in some ways, the now-abandoned prison experienced decades of its own poor conditions and mistreatment.

farmland in Skagit Valley
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

For many, Skagit Valley is known for its annual Tulip Festival. And while the million-plus visitors who flock here every year is a remarkable part of the story, this area’s identity runs much deeper.

All Things Considered host Ed Ronco and producer Geoffrey Redick take listeners inside the heart and soul of Skagit, from farmers helping each other thrive to vital programs for marginalized populations.

Thousands of people walk through Seattle's new tunnel on Saturday, Feb. 2. The tunnel opened to traffic Monday.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle’s new tunnel is finally open, following a weekend of festivities bidding farewell to the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

“Thousands of people have worked very hard for this moment,” spokeswoman Laura Newborn said in an email Monday, “and WSDOT is pleased to announce that it’s here.”

A sign indicates a road closure on Queen Anne Avenue North, at the Galer Street intersection. A snow storm blanketed Western Washington on Monday, causing disruptions across the region.
Ed Ronco / KNKX

A winter storm blanketed Western Washington on Monday with several inches of snow, cold temperatures and bone-chilling winds. A lot of snow fell overnight, particularly from Seattle to Bellingham. And the snow continues to fall in parts of the region. Kirby Cook, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, joined Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick to talk about the latest weather updates.

Matt Malyon is a chaplain and a writer who spends nearly every Wednesday afternoon with kids wearing orange jumpsuits. They meet in the Skagit County Juvenile Detention Center, where they read poems and song lyrics together. And, they write together. The
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Matt Malyon is a chaplain and a writer who spends nearly every Wednesday afternoon with kids wearing orange jumpsuits. They meet in the Skagit County Juvenile Detention Center, where they read poems and song lyrics together. And, they write together.

The program is called Underground Writing. It started in 2015, but has since expanded. They have a podcast, a new book and workshops in five Skagit County locations.

 Test baker Julia Berstein (right) works with a graduate student at the Bread Lab in Skagit County.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

MOUNT VERNON, WASH. — When the Bread Lab was founded eight years ago, it was just that — a lab inside Washington State University’s Mount Vernon Research Center. 

Now, it lives in a gigantic building full of ovens and flour mills, where bundled wheat stalks adorn the walls. Food commentator Nancy Leson visited (and indulged her way through) the Bread Lab recently.

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